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Two Pieces of Gun Legislation in S.C. Senate

Could Impact Carriers of Concealed Weapons Permits – 

By Tiffani Ireland –

Two pieces of legislation currently making their way through the South Carolina Senate could have a major impact on those whose have concealed weapon permits.  One bill seeks to expand the rights of those permit holders.  The other could do away with concealed weapon permits altogether.

First introduced on Jan. 29, 2013, a bill known in the Senate as S308 would expand the rights of those who hold concealed weapon permits by allowing those holders to carry concealed weapons into restaurants which serve alcohol as long as the holder does not consume the alcohol and as long as carrying a concealed weapon is not specifically prohibited by the restaurant owner.

Sen. Shane Massey, who is a sponsor of this bill, spoke to The Advertiser regarding his support of this measure and said, “It makes good sense.”  As he explained, “These [holders of concealed weapon permits] are the good guys.  We know they’re the good guys … they have to have background checks.”  He further said he does not support restricting the rights of those who have followed the laws regarding carrying firearms and that it makes sense to expand places where law abiding citizens can carry their weapons.

While he lends his support to S308, Sen. Massey said he was “concerned” about the second bill currently being worked on in the Senate.  Informally called the Open Carry Bill, this legislation, which was introduced to the Senate on Jan. 8, 2013, is actually listed as S115 and titled the Constitutional Carry Act.  If passed, one of the impacts of this bill would be to essentially do away with concealed weapon permits and allow anyone, with or without a permit, to carry a gun in South Carolina.  “I don’t want mentally ill people and violent criminals carrying a weapon,” Sen. Massey said in explaining his concern over this bill.  He added that he felt is was important that people who wished to carry firearms have background checks.  “For me, law enforcement needs to know who the bad guys are,” Sen. Massey stated and said that permits help clarify that.

Interestingly, Sen. Massey, who has been holding numerous town hall meetings across his district, said the issue most discussed at every one of these meetings is gun legislation both at the state and federal levels.  He said comments made at these meetings show that most people support background checks with many even favoring required training for the use of firearms.

S308 has passed from committee and is now expected to be debated by the full Senate as early as next week.  The Open Carry Bill is currently being debated in sub-committee where it reportedly has received some changes.  The Advertiser will continue to track theses bills as they make their way through the Senate.

 

3 Responses to Two Pieces of Gun Legislation in S.C. Senate

  1. Doug E. White

    April 2, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    S115 does NOT do away with carry permits. Carry permits would become OPTIONAL to maintain reciprocity with other states, and we should be pushing for both bills to make it through and be passed into law as background checks are already required when firearms are purchased.

  2. Josh Barton

    April 3, 2013 at 8:11 am

    If passed, one of the impacts of this bill would be to essentially do away with concealed weapon permits and allow anyone, with or without a permit, to carry a gun in South Carolina. “I don’t want mentally ill people and violent criminals carrying a weapon,” Sen. Massey said in explaining his concern over this bill.

    I am sorry, If a person is a criminal, or in an unstable mind set, they are not going to obay the law in the first place!

  3. dessauls

    May 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Seventy South Carolinians have been killed by a firearm in the past four months. More than two hundred will die of a gunshot this year, not counting suicides and accidents.

    SC ranks 7th in the nation for the rate of homicides by firearm. The rate of firearm related deaths has increased from 12.33 per 100,000 in 2000 to 14 in 2010 (13.1 for whites, 15 for blacks). We are facing a public health crisis: anything else responsible for this many deaths would be immediately investigated and measures taken to prevent as many more deaths as possible.

    It does not look like a great idea to increase the number of potential firearm injuries and deaths.

    Bill S 308 would authorize concealed carry in establishments serving alcohol. Alcohol and guns, not a good idea. Are our restaurants, bars and night clubs that dangerous that people need to carry guns there for self defense? What happens if a gun carrying patron feels threatened by an inebriated one?

    Law enforcement opposes this bill. How will they know which one is the “good guy” is several people are shooting? As far as I know, restaurant and bar owners have not been consulted before this bill was introduced. How are they supposed to enforce the “no alcohol to concealed weapon holders” , or the midnight to 5 AM rules?

    This bill is of no benefit for the majority of South Carolinians, not to mention out of state visitors. It is definitely not a way to attract more tourists in our state. Opposing this bill is not about restricting rights, it is about common sense and public safety.